The Blistering Recovery Continues: Week After Macy's, JCPenney Fires 2000, Closes 33 Stores

Tyler Durden's picture

A week ago, Macy's fired 2500 and announced the closure of five stores. Moments ago, the company which we have been warning since late 2012 is a melting ice cube that ends in bankruptcy, JCPenney, which a week ago provided the following glib summary "JCPenney reported today that the Company is pleased with its performance for the holiday period", turns out was merely joking and just echoed the Macy's sentiment, announcing the termination of some 2,000 jobs and the closure of 33 stores.

JCPenney today announced that as part of its turnaround efforts, the Company will be closing 33 underperforming stores across the country in order to focus its resources on the Company`s highest potential growth opportunities.


These actions are expected to result in an annual cost savings of approximately $65 million, beginning in 2014. In connection with this initiative, the Company expects to incur estimated pre-tax charges of approximately $26 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 and approximately $17 million in future periods.


Remaining inventory in the affected stores will be sold over the next several months, with final closings expected to be complete by early May. The closings will result in the elimination of approximately 2,000 positions. Eligible associates who do not remain with the Company will receive separation benefits packages. Meanwhile, the Company is continuing its plans to open a new store location later this year at the Gateway II development in Brooklyn, N.Y.


"As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly," said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chief executive officer of JCPenney.  "While it`s always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success."

What can one say but: this is just the kind of recovery that justifies an S&P500 at all time highs.

Investors initially cheered... but now not so much...

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Say What Again's picture

Why has WMT been fading during this recent run up in the "market"

zerozulu's picture

I hope JCpenny will have a closed down sale soon.I need battery cell for my flash light.

superflex's picture

Didn't you mean FleshLight?

Ying-Yang's picture

Even if shutting some of J.C. Penney’s under-performing outlets might seem like a no-brainer, the troubled company has an extra obstacle given most of its stores are within malls.

“Closing stores is probably necessary, but there’s a trap here,” said Mark Cohen, a professor at Columbia Business School and the former CEO of Sears Canada. “In malls, there are restrictive operating covenants. Retailers can’t just decide to close stores.”

These covenants can tie a store down for 20 to 25 years, particularly in regional malls where many J.C. Penney outlets operate. Breaking these agreements can result in multimillion-dollar penalties in some cases, with anchor stores like J.C. Penney (or Macy’s, or Bloomingdale’s) hit hardest if they try to renege.

wee-weed up's picture



JCP closing 33 stores...

No problemo... ODumbo will just create 33 more Promise Zones!

Rentier's picture

My JCP short looking better and better everyday!

Four chan's picture

coach is closing 20 stores next month.

MontgomeryScott's picture

Damn, nice 'sales rack' there, Four Chan!

I can't understand why it is surprising that the 'big box' retailers are all closing up. They are forced to sell the same low-quality Chinese crap (well, they weren't FORCED; they BEGGED for it in their purchasing departments, and they GOT what they asked for) as Walmart, Sam's Club, The Dollar Stores (, but they forgot that they can't keep charging the same prices as high-quality merchandise made in other nations (try finding an American-made washing machine, television, or tool, much less shoes or shirts or plates, or glasses or cups or silverware or pillows or blankets or...).

The only thing that surprises ME PERSONALLY is that it has taken SO LONG.

R.I.P., American retailers. The NEW BOSS is in town, and he is NOT a kind one.

Offthebeach's picture

I was wondering why the hard plastic and large spring. The pain the last three years has been intense.

Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

Maybe 'cause when you walk in their Supestores, noone is there shopping. It has been real quiet on Friday's for about 9 months.

Papasmurf's picture

They didn't do anything to attract customers back into their store.  Their prices are all over the map from 250% of fair value to deep discounts.  I went into their store after Christmas and looked at shoes.  I found the exact item three stores down for half.  Why would I go back, when I have to question if I paid the right price?  

notquantumdum's picture

Maybe it's because of this chart:

It's been a fairly boring stock for . . . decades? 

['Except for those who were reinvesting dividends:

(Click "expanded view" "compare" and add other stocks to get a better picture) . . . And, even those who reinvested dividends in WMT do not appear to have kept up with the market (as represented by the S&P 500) if one merely bought SPY and reinvested the dividends automatically (over longer periods of time), as most if not all brokers will let you do if you ask them to.

This makes me wonder, if WMT is so evil, how come their share holders don't make more money?]

Handful of Dust's picture

JCPenney, which a week ago provided the following glib summary "JCPenney reported today that the Company is pleased with its performance for the holiday period", turns out was merely joking and just echoed the Macy's sentiment, announcing the termination of some 2,000 jobs and the closure of 33 stores.


Morbid sense of humor, but I suspect it's just due to the weather, yes?

nope-1004's picture

Green chutes...... 5 years on.  F'n joke these central planners are.


knukles's picture

Oh come on, it's the weather and restructuring so the poor employees can get ObieNomics retraining to be productive government employees

Just in fucking time for a Fed Tapertantrum

Booyah motherfuckers!


PS  I was at Costco today picking up my life and the dude in front of me (Humorless fuck, I must say.  Didn't enjoy my humming of Dixie) was buying one and one one thing only.  A copy of Jim Cramer's book on how to "Get Rich Carefully."
Bulk sales at Costco....

I was gonna ask him if he was planning on selling his daughters on e-Bay or sumptin...
But thought it would not help the poor fellow.
Or me....

Shizzmoney's picture

We have a saying in poker: "Don't tap on the aquarium"

Darwin was right.  Let nature figure it out. 

ebworthen's picture

Picking up your life or picking up your Wife?

Cramer, how to "Get Fleeced Carefully", just buy and hold, right Jim?

"Hope springs eternal" as the saying goes.

Bubble Part II swelling larger than Bubble I.

kaiserhoff's picture

"If you have a daughter of marriageable age, you should place her in an upstairs window where she can be seen reading or playing a musical instrument.  She is a kind of merchandise."

                                            from the Kama Sutra.

Couldn't make this shit up;)


kaiserhoff's picture

Classic literature,

  and funny as all hell.  Definitely not PC.

25or6to4's picture

The Kama Sutra or Jim Cramers book?

Fredo Corleone's picture

Actually, Knukles, next time give them several bars of, "Rose of Alabama." a poignant tune of Antebellum America. Wonderful melody.

Frostfan1's picture

JC Penney has nothing to do with any evidence of recovery.  They're just the next Sears.....

Handful of Dust's picture

...33 stores closing...

Bullish for the Dollar Store and Overstock. There'll be tons of crap that needs to be dumped....

666's picture

Will anybody notice?

Or care?

jcaz's picture

Sprucing up before the BK.......

I see they also put the employees back on commission  again today-  there ya go,  doesn't reek of desperation at all......

"Toby, your new salary is $2/hr plus commission- now get out there and sell!"

Shaniqua will hit the exit door running.......

BandGap's picture

Or they are getting lean and mean and going up for sale. Been part of that song and dance before.

aerojet's picture

"Did anyone help you today?"  My answer is always an unequivocal 'No' unless the chick is way hot or something.  Making eye contact with me when I walk in the store is not 'being helped.'

Dr. Engali's picture

Economic renaissance bitchez! Maybe Zero should consider stop giving speeches. It seems every time he opens his fat trap something bad happens. Ahhhhhh who am I kidding? Expecting Zero to stop talking is like expecting a banker to do the right thing.

DaddyO's picture

Obummer will never take responsibility for any of the things that have happened under his watch, hell He's still in campaign mode.

Just look at the story behind this one in the blog roll, the market is screaming ever higher.

Economic Renaissance my arse, right?

A greenie for the good doctor...


101 years and counting's picture

dammit janet, we need to print moar. 

Dinero D. Profit's picture


Fifty-million unemployed?

Build pyramids!

Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

A portion of pyramid workers daily wage was....wait for it.....2 gallons of beer.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

And room and board. So.... 2 gallons pre or post tax? 2 gallons is about a case of Bud, so, you might be better off as a pyramid worker.

merizobeach's picture

"Build pyramids!"

LOL.  Next build Great Walls!  (I can think of several places for Great Walls... around DC; somewhere near San Luis Obispo--from the ocean to Nevada; around Utah and adjacent outlying Mormon demographic areas (with sovereignty for those within); and around Texas or along the northern borders of OK, AR, TN, and VA, unless MO, KY, WV, MD, and DE wish to be included, (also granting belated indepedence to that rightful nation).  (Good fucking riddance!)  >:-D

merizobeach's picture

Another thought..  America has 50+ million bums on food stamp and other welfares, and China has 50 million too many men...  It's a reality TV Survivor series of bayonet melee until one team outlasts the other!  I'd watch, maybe even PPV (if I had bank card, ha!).

buzzsaw99's picture

Planet Schmanet, Janet

You'd better wise up, Janet Weiss

Your apple pie don't taste too nice...

/frank n furter

DaddyO's picture

DiLithium Fiat, Mr. Yellen, we need moar DiLithium Fiat...

Aye Cap'n, I'ma given her all she'll take, anymore and she'll blow us into the Bernanke/Greenspan Hyper-Inflation Zone like a coronal mass ejection...

Just give me moar DiLithium Fiat and let me worry about the blast Mr. Yellen...



tricklecreek's picture

"once again LT Ohura is on the Captains log
life is good.


MontgomeryScott's picture

I dunna ken wha' a DiLithium Fiat is, laddie! Fiats run on Chryslers...if they run at all... (I canna change the laws of physics! The damned contraptions just, WON'T, RUN!)

merizobeach's picture

Yes, thank you!  These are the kind of laughs I used to count on opening up ZH every morning--or afternoon, as my 'mornings' may be.

ebworthen's picture

Somewhere, somehow, someone(s) will say this is bullish.

29.5 hours's picture


Well, that is what the ever-astute JCPenney management is saying. Now they can focus on their high growth potential sectors, you see. Plus the "strategic priorities" thing. Sounds bullish to me.

ebworthen's picture

Fewer stores, fewer customers, less leverage with suppliers; HAS to be bullish.

When they are down to one store that is a sentimental museum of retail they'll do great.

Woolworth's, anyone?

Best Buy next.